It is comforting to know the Disney company is removing gender references from everything from corporate training to program scripts. For example, rather than begin a program with “Welcome ladies and gentlemen” you will now hear “Welcome friends.”

That’s a relief. We will no longer be accosted by disgusting references to men and women when the curtain comes up or the parade starts down the road. Frankly, it is hard to imagine how American society has withstood the horror of men and women being welcomed in this way to public events over the past few centuries.

Seriously? There is a ground war in Europe that could morph into a nuclear conflict, we are still dealing with almost a million pandemic-related deaths, and inflation is forcing working-class families to make hard choices about providing basic needs. Yet, someone thinks eliminating gender references in entertainment venues is a serious enough problem to prompt protests, threaten economic reprisals, and demand politicians reshape public policy? Even if gender redefinition is your life mission, is eliminating the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” really the battle you want to win? Apparently so.

This is just one example of a common problem in our culture—including in churches, denominations, and yes, a seminary like ours. The common problem is skewed perspective. We fixate on addressing an issue, solving a problem, correcting a person, or otherwise exhausting ourselves on one thing or another that just doesn’t matter that much. We lose perspective on what really matters. We focus on peripheral concerns rather than the core drivers for accomplishing our mission. We burn up intellectual resources, emotional energy, and relational capital on lesser issues—and then wonder why we don’t have the focus and capacity to make a real difference.

You can’t fulfill your mission with leftover time, energy, or effort. You can’t squander time on trivial pursuits and expect grand dreams to be fulfilled. It just won’t happen. So, before you join the next crusade, send out the next tweet, or commit to the next cause—ask yourself this salient question, “Does this really matter to what really matters?”

People who make a difference don’t dissipate their lives with trifles. They narrowly focus on making a real difference, not piddling efforts on cosmetic changes. While none of us do this perfectly, all of us can do it better. Discipline yourself today to thoughts, activities, projects, and people that fulfill your role in advancing God’s mission. Choose to spend time, money, and most importantly, your emotional and intellectual energy on what moves the needle on what really matters to God (and hopefully to you).

In short, turn off the noise and turn up the mission!


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Personal Timeline Lessons of Ministry Leaders

Kristen Ferguson
Director of Online Education | Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
Dr. Kristen Ferguson serves as the Director of Online Education and associate professor of educational leadership at Gateway Seminary. Her doctoral research at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary investigated evangelical faculty perceptions on online theological education. Her continued research focuses on online course design, blended learning, and online teaching best practices.

The Plain Meaning

Dr. Iorg discusses the simplicity of Bible interrpetation. We cannot let our disobedient hearts guide our interpretation.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

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Study Isaiah
October 3, 2022

Uplifted Hand Oracles and Isaiah’s Commission – Isaiah 5b-6 & 9-10a

This week on Study Isaiah, Paul Wegner and host Tyler Sanders continue hopping around the palistrophe in Isaiah 5-12. First, they cover the uplifted hand oracles and then Isaiah’s commission.
Lead On Podcast
October 2, 2022

Overcoming Destructive Habits

Dr. Iorg explains how destructive habits can be formed by looking for significance and security in places other than Christ.

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Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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